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Sudan, China discuss economic cooperation

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July 10, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s State Foreign Minister Osama Faisal has met China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Bejing on the sidelines of the eighth ministerial meeting of China-Arab States Cooperation Forum (CASCF).

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Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) shakes hands with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir during a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, September 1, 2015. (Photo Reuters/Parker Song)

The CASCF, initiated in 2004, is a high-level platform for dialogue and cooperation between China and the Arab World.

The two ministers discussed ways to promote bilateral relations and develop economic cooperation within the framework of the Belt and Road initiative.

The Chinese minister expressed pleasure that President Omer al-Bashir has confirmed his participation in the meeting of the Africa-China Cooperation Forum which would be held in September in Beijing.

For his part, Faisal thanked China for its continued support to Sudan’s stances at the various international forums.

China has been Sudan’s largest foreign investor, particularly in oil and telecommunications after western firms shunned the East African nation due to conflicts and sanctions.

It has invested more than $20 billion in Sudan mostly in the oil sector during the past two decades. Beijing provides low-interest loans and weapons transfers in return for oil.

Sudan hopes to attract new Chinese investments after Beijing had refrained from implementing a number of projects agreed upon with Khartoum following the latter’s failure to settle its debts.

Sudan’s total debt to China is estimated at $ 10 billion, accounting for about one-fifth of Sudan’s estimated $53 billion foreign debt.

(ST)

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